UTRGV School of Medicine treats patients, unveils UTHealth RGV

UT Health

By Jennifer L. Berghom

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JULY 10, 2018 -- The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine is launching UTHealth RGV, its much-anticipated clinical practice, which will provide patients throughout the Valley additional access to primary and specialty care.

“UTHealth RGV further fulfills the School of Medicine’s promise to expand healthcare access across the Rio Grande Valley,” said Dr. John H. Krouse, executive vice president for Health Affairs at UTRGV and dean of the School of Medicine.

For years, families have had to travel to outside of the Valley to seek treatment – some as far as Houston, Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Krouse said.  Additional healthcare access in the Valley was confirmed in a 2014 assessment of the area’s healthcare needs.

The assessment indicated that the number of physicians per population in the Valley is almost half of the physician-per-patient ratio for the United States, which is 240 doctors per 100,000 people. The Valley only has 124 doctors per 100,000 people.

“An important responsibility of our medical school is to provide patient care,” Krouse said. “The goal of this clinical practice – UTHealth RGV – is to lessen the need for patients to travel outside of the Valley to receive care from board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians and other healthcare providers. This is an exciting time for healthcare in the Rio Grande Valley and I am pleased that UTHealth RGV is joining the medical community in advancing health equity throughout the region.”

Medical schools throughout the country usually have affiliated practices operated by faculty members who are licensed physicians, as well as other healthcare professionals and medical staff.  Having a school of medicine-affiliated physician provides patients with access to individuals who are training the next generation of healthcare providers, many of whom are involved in research related to diseases that affect the health of Valley families.

UTHealth RGV has several offices open that provide primary and specialty care, including pediatric genetics and neurology care, women’s health specialists, general and endocrine surgery, rheumatology and other services. More locations will be open in the coming months, including employee health centers at UTRGV’s campuses in Brownsville, Edinburg and Harlingen.

Patients can call 1-833-UTRGVMD (887-4863) or visit the recently launched website for UT Health RGV, uthealthrgv.org, to:

  • Look up our locations.
  • Find a physician.
  • Request appointments.
  • Contact our offices.

The School of Medicine also provides patient care through graduate medical education clinics it operates with its partner hospital systems and through its Area Health Education Centers in Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr counties.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016. 

UTRGV School of Medicine Chief of Staff / 956-296-1995

UTRGV School of Medicine Communications Coordinator / 956-296-1619

Marci Caltabiano-Ponce
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742